Pope Benedict XVI accepts term limits

There are many people in business, government and politics who would do well to learn the most important lesson from his resignation. 

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Pope Benedict has voluntarily limited his own term in one of the most powerful and important positions in the world.  He did not attempt to maintain his power, position and authority when he concluded he could not exercise them with the standards they require. By contrast our nation endures many politicians whose only reason to be in office appears to be to remain in office.

We endure many in business who believe they should be extravagantly rewarded regardless of their failure or success, in what they falsely call capitalism, and maintain their position even in the cases of great failure of performance.

Even worse, in our society, there are many who view their "service" as merely an intermediate step in the perpetual revolving door between government service and private business, using their public service to enhance their private wealth, in a revolving door that never closes. 

This revolving door has thrived through Democratic and Republican presidents and Congresses. This notion of remaining in office for the apparent sole purpose of remaining in office and refusing to take even minimal political risks is a hallmark of our  times and a reason for the huge unpopularity of both Congress and Wall Street. 

Pope Benedict has placed his faith and his actions in the service of causes greater than himself. He has voluntarily relinquished his power and his position with a nobility of spirit and higher purpose that should be an example throughout our worlds of politics, government and business.

Service means to serve others, not service to self. If true believers in freedom, democracy and capitalism would conduct themselves with the sense of high purpose demonstrated by Pope Benedict, our country and our world would be a far better place.